Happiest Hour 

Whistling Andy Whiskey

The backstory: Roughly three years ago, Whistling Andy Distillery co-owner Brian Anderson poured bourbon into several barrels and capped them. Since then he's released limited batches of moonshine and year-old whiskey, but the anticipation for one of Montana's first true bourbons—hand-crafted, locally sourced and triple distilled—has steadily grown. Now the time has come. Whistling Andy Straight Bourbon Whiskey officially rolled out last week.

What you're drinking: Montana's latest bourbon is, for all intents and purposes, the liquid essence of western Montana grain. Whistling Andy sourced its barley, wheat and rye from two family farms—one in Ronan and one in Moiese. The product spent the past three years mellowing in charred white-oak barrels and went into bottles at a light 80 proof.

click to enlarge COURTESY OF WHISTLING ANDY DISTILLERY
  • courtesy of Whistling Andy Distillery

When to look for it: Whistling Andy started selling its straight bourbon whiskey straight out of the tasting room Nov. 27 for $45 a bottle, with a limit of two per person. It has yet to pop up in local liquor stores, likely due to the Thanksgiving holiday. But Whistling Andy's Dana Marchetti says the state's Liquor Control Division has "plenty" of bottles at the warehouse in Helena, and she expects the bourbon will start appearing on retail shelves over the next week as orders are placed and filled. If you aren't lucky enough to be in the Flathead in the next few days, keep your eyes peeled around town.

Where to get it: Grizzly Liquor carries a full complement of Whistling Andy bottles at 110 Spruce St. If all else fails and you're in the neighborhood, Whistling Andy Distillery is at 8541 Highway 35 South in Bigfork.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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